Is the Netherlands sustainable as a global-scale inner-city? Intenscoping spatial sustainability

Kocsis, Tamás (2014) Is the Netherlands sustainable as a global-scale inner-city? Intenscoping spatial sustainability. Ecological Economics, 101 . pp. 103-114. DOI 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.03.002

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Is the Netherlands sustainable or not? The answer inherently involves addressing the issues of system boundaries, statistical units and a vision of sustainability. As an analytical answer we offer the Intenscope (IS), a two-dimensional graphical tool based on dimensionless percentages of triple rate ratios which overcomes several limitations of sustainability analyses. First, it is not sensitive to the size of statistical units so an area with twice the amount of resources of another, with double the population (and double the total consumption) would have the same triple ratio of population:biocapacity:consumption. Second, the IS is sensitive to anomalies which may originate either from the use of arbitrary statistical units (e.g. the boundaries of a city) or those which may indicate truly unsustainable practices. To judge spatial sustainability we use ecological footprint data from which we construct a plausible country plot based on the IS. Despite the relative nature of IS-analyses, the employed consumption:biocapacity ratio inherently refers to the absolute limit of sustainability: we cannot continually use more resources on a global scale than nature provides us with. The analysis introduces some associations of human preferences and attributions of settlement types which may help to elaborate sustainability policies based on voluntary action.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biocapacity, Consumption, Ecological footprint, Population, Rural–urban dimensions, Spatial sustainability
Divisions:Faculty of Business Administration > Institute for Environmental Science > Department of Environmental Economics and Technology
Subjects:Environmental economics
Projects:OTKA 105228
ID Code:1585
Deposited By: Ádám Hoffmann
Deposited On:26 May 2014 06:59
Last Modified:28 May 2014 13:52

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